Update as of 6:35 a.m. EST: The second day of search for the missing AirAsia Flight QZ8501 has been suspended with no clues as to the whereabouts of the plane, an official with Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency said Monday, according to ABC News.
The third day of search for the jet, which went missing Sunday morning over the Java Sea, will focus on using foreign vessels with sonar capabilities that could help detect the Airbus A320-200 if it came to rest on the sea floor, Supriyadi, the agency's Director of Operations reportedly said.
Indonesia, which is leading the search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501, has accepted Singapore’s offer of two sets of underwater locator beacon detectors that could help find the flight recorders of the missing AirAsia plane, media reports said Monday. The AirAsia Indonesia flight from Surabaya to Singapore went missing Sunday morning after it requested a route change to avoid rough weather before it lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control.
The detectors reportedly come with power microphones that help detect “pings,” which are emitted every second for 30 days, from the plane’s flight data recorder. Singapore, which has also provided two military aircraft and four naval vessels, has also offered two teams of specialists to assist in the search operation. Australia and Malaysia too have deployed planes and ships to assist in the search, led by Indonesia. Authorities are reportedly searching an area of over 11,000 square nautical miles of the Java Sea where the plane went missing.
Thirty ships and 15 aircraft were looking for the missing plane, Jusuf Kalla, Indonesia's vice president, said at a press conference Monday, adding that the country was considering accepting help from the UK and France. According to Bambang Soelistyo, Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency chief, Indonesia does not have the proper technology to scour the sea floor to look for the plane, according to The Guardian.
“Based on the co-ordinates given to us and evaluation that the estimated crash position is in the sea, the hypothesis is the plane is at the bottom of the sea,” Soelistyo told reporters on Monday, adding: "The capability of our equipment is not optimum.”
Earlier on Monday, an Australian Orion aircraft had detected objects near Nangka island about 100 miles southwest of Pangkalan Bun, about 700 miles from the location where the plane lost contact with air traffic control, according to Jakarta's Air Force base commander Rear Marshal Dwi Putranto. However, Kalla later told reporters that the object was not connected to the missing Airbus A320-200, as "no sufficient evidence was found to confirm what was reported."
Meanwhile, local media reports said that two of the four boats that took part in the search operation around Pulau Nangka and Pulau Pesumut off east Belitung island in the Java Sea, returned after six hours on Monday, with no clues as to the whereabouts of the missing plane.
Kalla also reportedly told the media on Monday that there is no time frame on the search operation, adding that authorities hoped to find survivors but are also “prepared for the worst.”